GAINESVILLE, Ga. — It wasn’t pretty, but East Forsyth will take it.
The Broncos (6-4, 4-4 Region 8-4A) battled through 128 penalty yards to hold off North Hall (3-7, 3-5 Region 8-4A) in a 28-21 dogfight Friday at Bronco Stadium.
“We’re committing penalties, we’ve done it all year long, and we have got to improve that next year,” said East Forsyth coach Brian Allison.
The sting of the penalties quickly disappeared as the final horn blew, as the Broncos captured their first-ever winning season in Year 2 of the program.
"Our kids are believing in what we're doing," Allison said. "We're sitting here at 6-4, but we're a little disappointed that we're not 8-2. We really are. We're 6-4, and we're disappointed that we're not 8-2. I would never have believed that three months ago. So, we're excited about the direction we're headed with this program."
The Broncos jumped out to an early lead, going up 14-0 at the start of the second quarter, scoring on a 20-yard pass to senior running back Brandon Peoples and a 3-yard rush from Joey Hudson.
Hudson and Peoples led the Broncos' ground game that racked up 268 rushing yards.
Hudson led the Broncos' rushing attack with 20 carries for 129 yards, while Peoples finished with 101 yards on 16 carries.
"I couldn't be any more proud of Joey Hudson," Allison said. "Early in the year, he wasn't getting a lot of playing time, and he came in a few weeks ago and ran it hard. I'm just super proud of him."
But the Trojans (3-7, 3-5 Region 8-4A) didn't back down, storming back to tie the game late in the first half. Junior running back Hunter Riley ripped off back-to-back touchdown runs of 52 and 76 yards to tie the game, 14-14. Riley finished with 10 carries for 177 yards.
“I think our guys were just ready to win the ball game,” said Allison. “We had our backs against the wall most of the night, and our kids kept battling."
In the second half, East Forsyth took the opening drive 86 yards for a touchdown. Will Moffit capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run to give the Broncos a 21-14 advantage with 7:58 to go in the third.
The Trojans, however, tied the game with 47 seconds left in the third when Walker Davis connected with Ajay Jones on a 26-yard pass.
EaFo went ahead for good with 8:49 left in the game on a 6-yard TD run by Moffit.